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Guinea-Bissau overcome early concession to draw Guinea in Mauritania

In a West African derby match, Guinea-Bissau drew 1-1 against Guinea on Wednesday in Nouakchott, Mauritania as Francois Kamano’s 7th minute opener was cancelled out by a second half strike from Guinea-Bissau’s Joseph Mendes. Despite being forced to host their home opener in a neutral location, the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau were very good value for the point after a sluggish start put them behind early. Both teams will await the result between Morocco and Sudan on Thursday to find out their status within Group I going into the second matchday.

It was a nightmare start for the “hosts” and their deficit on the pitch was confirmed within the opening ten minutes. The Nationale Syli countered quickly following a giveaway by Guinea-Bissau, with the ball finding star midfielder Naby Keita on the right flank. Using smooth dribbling to give himself time and space, Keita sent an inch perfect pass beyond the defense to find a running Kamano and the Lokomotiv Moscow slotted his shot under Djurtus keeper Jonas Mendes to put Guinea up.

Similar to their recent Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, however, Guinea could not generate consistent scoring opportunities despite the talent on the pitch. The match deteriorated as the first half went on and eventually Guinea-Bissau found their feet and began to bring more numbers forward by the time halftime arrived.

Immediately after halftime, Guinea-Bissau took advantage of their rising confidence and a defensive error in the Guinean defense to equalize. A hopeful aerial ball was nodded towards the penalty area and as the ball bounced, the Guinean center back pairing of Mohamed Camara and Florentin Pogba failed to take the initiative to clear. Joseph Mendes surged into the area and took advantage of the moment of indecision to chest the ball past Pogba before blasting the ball through keeper Aly Keita.

Both teams had their chances in the final ten minutes to restore their lead, but after a splendid 80th minute buildup, Kamano fired a rasping low shot off the post and out before Raja Casablanca striker Moustapha Kouyate fired over when a blocked shot fell fortuitously to him minutes later. Guinea-Bissau had a golden opportunity to win it at the death when a ball was flicked into the path of substitute Jorginho, but with only the keeper to beat the Wisla Plock attacker could not lob his shot over Keita, who did well to stand his ground and not commit too early.

Highlights of the match are in the link below.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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